The automotive sector is key for Concentrol, being the automotive glass packaging industry an important customer for the company. Below we explain in detail the glazing systems and materials used and the solutions offered by Concentrol. A long experience backs us up and makes great leaders of the industry trust us during this process of glazing for vehicles.

 

GLAZING SYSTEMS

Increasingly, vehicle manufacturers are being supplied with glazing systems instead of a single piece of glass. Much of this value-added activity takes place once the glass has been laminated or tempered by the glass manufacturers.

Prefabricated glazing systems help to simplify the vehicle manufacturing process. There are 4 different glazing processes. Modular systems such as encapsulation and extrusion are designed to facilitate the adhesive bonding of the glass to the vehicle. The other two, bonding and assembly, add an additional step to the manufacturing process.

Encapsulation

It involves injection moulding of polymer cuts, precisely shaped on the periphery of the glass to suit the vehicle body. It also offers the opportunity to incorporate additional styling features such as fasteners, trims, reinforcements and even window opening hinges, typical of some vehicles, with the same demolding process. It has multiple benefits: improves airflow, reduces water and dirt entry points, reduces noise inside the cabin and improves the appearance of the final design.

Extrusion

Plastic extrusion is an industrial process, in which a plastic is pressed and moulded using an extrusion machine. By means of pressure and pushing, the desired shape is given through a mould. It is usually done with PVC or recyclable plastics. The machinery is heavy, spacious and expensive.  It is a longer process as the material then has to be bonded to the glass. In addition, there is a risk of obtaining material with an uneven texture or heterogeneous appearance.

Bonding

The material (PVC or other) used to bond to the glass uses adhesives and fasteners that add an additional step to the manufacturing process. The additional steps in the manufacturing process increase the total cost of manufacturing the product.

Assembly

Fixing the glass in a vehicle can also be achieved by applying location clips to the glass. The attachment of such clips, along with other hardware, is commonly referred to as assembly. The plastic for mounting the glass is manufactured earlier. Additional materials required (the clips). This must be done by the car manufacturer (additional process).

 

GLAZING MATERIALS

There are different materials used in the glazing process. Below we detail the characteristics of each one. At Concentrol we highlight the applications of polyurethane (PUR RIM), due to its wide properties and result of the final finish.

High Density Polyurethane (PUR RIM)

Glass encapsulation with polyurethane results in a seal that is superior to the glass seal. Unlike most solutions that are two or three separate components, this glass encapsulation solution is a single piece, incorporating glass, weatherstripping and a divider bar. In addition to being lightweight, it ensures a high level of sound insulation and a tight seal.

Encapsulating the glass without secondary process adhesives reduces components and installation time. Polyurethane is a better thermal insulator and does not present heating problems like PVC. In addition, its processing does not present as many problems due to degassing, it is considerably less aggressive. Another point to note is that polyurethane is less susceptible to microbiological attack and weathering compared to rubber materials (TPE, EPDM). Also, it has greater thermal and chemical resistance.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Due to its good quality/price ratio and its great versatility, it is the most consumed plastic in Spain. It has good sealing properties and can resist water and dust, as well as sound insulation. Encapsulation with PVC is often the most economically efficient solution for small glass components, such as side or quarter windows in cars.

The PVC molding process presents several problems. Degassing of hydrochloric and hydrobromic acids causes discomfort for operators and affects molds and machinery in the vicinity. In addition, it has a high risk of burning. PVC is not a good thermal insulator and during processing it gets very hot (once the parts are removed it takes a long time to cool down).

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)

The thermoplastic elastomer or thermoplastic rubber, is a material that can be processed with thermoplastic technologies such as injection molding, 2K molding or extrusion.  They are easy to mould and undergo further processing (painting, bonding).

TPE has rubber-like properties. Compared to thermosetting rubbers (also with RIM polyurethane), they have lower temperature resistance, lower chemical resistance and poorer recovery (compression set) after loading.

 

Polyethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Rubber (EPDM)

EPDM is an elastomer with very good properties against the passage of water and atmospheric agents, with very high elasticity and resistance, which makes it a very suitable material for waterproofing all types of surfaces.

EPDM has good elasticity that gives it the ability to resist breaks caused by other materials. However, it is easily damaged by shearing. It has less strength and impact resistance than PUR RIM. This material is more difficult to adhere to glass because of its waxy feel.

 

CONCENTROL SOLUTIONS: ENCAPSULATION WITH RIM/RRIM POLYURETHANE

Concentrol produces release agents for encapsulation with rim/rim polyurethane. Solvent-based release agents, water-based, silicone-free product, concentrated for easy dillution and possibility of electrostatic references.

Our solutions provide:

  • A high release power
  • Consistency of the coating
  • Low mould dirtying
  • Wide working temperature range

As explained in the previous sections, encapsulation can bring an additional layer of quality to your product design. Due to the cost savings and quality benefits, OEMs with low and short term projects as well as complete production lines are finding this method of manufacturing a solution.

At Concentrol we work whenever possible to lower the flammability, reduce the harmful properties and reduce the VOC emissions of our products. In the case of release agents for glazing systems we comply with all these points with the aim of respecting the environment and improving people’s safety.

 

AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS

The applications in the automotive sector are diverse and can be summarized with the following table describing the type of vehicles to which it is applied, the different parts that require the system and the different types of glass to which it must be adapted.

In addition, we are facing two sales channels in the automotive sector: the automotive parts OEM’s (windows for car manufacturers) and the aftermarket (replacement windows).

 

 

OTHER INDUSTRIES

In addition to the automotive sector, other industries such as consumer goods, telecommunications, construction, medicine and others have been using glass encapsulation in their designs.

Glass encapsulation can be used anywhere where glass needs to act as protection from the elements or as insulation to keep objects at a constant temperature. For this reason, it is commonly used in commercial and consumer refrigeration equipment and freezers; as well as in commercial, residential and marine building design projects. Durability of encapsulation materials is a serious manufacturing consideration for designs that need to withstand exterior elements.

Concentrol’s team is available to provide additional detailed information on glazing systems.